Outside the imaginary boundary of the ring road and even beyond the railway bridges, an area that was once a separate village is now the glorious Lambrate District. Popular and animated by the time of the Innocenti workshops where the Lambretta namesake was produced: a scooter that marked an era and a symbol of Italian design ingenuity throughout the world.
This is the birthplace of Zona Ventura Lambrate, a youthful and alternative style centre created from the meeting between the Dutch company ‘Organisation in Design’ and Italian architect Mariano Pichler, and housed in an area of roughly 13,000 m2. It is an integrator of ideas and display spaces, converted from a former industrial area, and a showcase for the most advanced proposals in style and design.
Walking around its interior, we see the De Carlo Gallery, a leader in research and innovation in contemporary imagery for the last 30 years which also has offices in London and Hong Kong. The gallery is also a publishing company and organises exhibitions, events, and shows around the world, from the Rome Quadrennial to Art Basel to the Frieze Art Fair in New York.
There are also interesting ideas at Subalterno1 and Venice Future: Murano glass and 3D printed ceramic vessels made by young Italian designers (Breaking the Mould and Materiaterza) who work in Venice in collaboration with the ancient Salviati glass works.
Lambrate is also the most eastern extension of Milan; is the east just like London’s East End. As such, it also provides a commercial venue with the East Market: a market with objects, clothes, and food, all strictly cool and up to date with the latest international trends. This is a 5,000 m2 space created inside a factory, built after the Second World War, where the buyers and sellers are all private individuals. There is also an extremely enticing Food Market where you can relax from the bustle of shopping.
These are just some of the district’s more innovative incentives, besides the Lambrate craft brewery, the Fuori Salone display stands, the temporary exhibitions… A Design District with dozens of spaces that embody ideas from Italy and the world. From the outskirts to the centre, Lambrate is far from gentrification because it is accessible, hospitable, and open.
All pictures, via Ventura – Lambrate (Milano)
Photo Francesco Polidori / Kemon